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May 6, 2013

Massive Open Online Support for Education (MOOSE)
Stephen Downes, May 6, 2013, University College of the North, Thompson, Manitoba via Google Hangout

Discussion of the concept of Massive Open Online Courses as they evolved from the development of open online learning and evolved into a means of offering social and immersive learning online. The context was a discussion of officials from the University College of the North in manitoba, which is mandated to provide learning to numerous communities scattered across a large northern environment.

[Slides] [Audio]

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Who Owns Your Pictures?
Tim Bray, Ongoing, May 6, 2013


While it is not yet clear that social media sites are yet able to claim overship over so-called 'orphan photographs' - that is, photos the ownership of which cannot be determined after a (somewhat) "diligent search", it does seem clear that these sites are in the process of creating orphan works by removing author and ownership data from metadata embedded in the photos. "it’s not just Twitter... Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, and Twitter are losing attribution. On the other hand, DropBox, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr are doing the right thing." The photo by Tim Bray attached to this post has had its metadata removed thrice over, once by Twitter and twice in processing (as I also use ImageMagick to process photos).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Flickr, Twitter, Google, Metadata]

The MOOC wars
May 6, 2013


"Initially," writes Martin Weller, "I thought this was just a bit of ignorance, but Clark's post made me understand - it is part of a wider narrative to portray MOOCs as a commercial solution that is sweeping away the complacency of higher education." This is in reaction to Donald Clark proclamation of the ascendency of (certain kinds of) MOOCs. "The narrative goes something like:

  • Higher education is irretrievably broken
  • MOOCs have come along from outside and shown how it can be done for free and at scale
  • MOOCs can answer all your education issues and make a profit."

Meanwhile, Brian Lamb reports on the Wikipedia battle over revisionist MOOC hostory. observes "MOOCs are not the disruptive innovation in education. The Web is the disruptive innovation in education." I agree - and would note that the primary influence over the design of cMOOCs is - you guessed it, the web! Sheila MacNeill, meanwhile, reminds us there is another universe where MOOCs do not yet exist (and yet another universe, known only to the writers of the Chronicle).  (Photo by synestheticstrings / Wikimedia Commons)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Wikipedia]

Bringing “Personal Cloud” to Market
Doc Searls, May 6, 2013

There is almost certainly come marketing deal or commercial push behind this post, but it is nonetheless worth following up on the discussion around personal clouds being touted by Doc Searls in this post. Searls is mostly on how the language is being used to frame the market category: "At this stage “personal cloud” itself is both very new and possibly not permanent. At IIW a year ago, Kynetx was still talking about “personal event networks” (meaning what we now call personal clouds) and Respect Network was talking about its trust frameworks. Now both are leading personal cloud developers, and positioned that way."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Marketing, Networks, Ontologies]

Social learning graphs: combining social network graphs and analytics to represent learning experiences
Abelardo Pardo, Social Media, and , Interactive Learning Environments, May 6, 2013


Detailed paper with a lot of smart thinking about graphs and learning analytics. A graph is, in a nutshell, a set of connections between entities (or in graphspeak, a set of edges and nodes). "In  this paper, Social Learning Graphs are presented as a framework to capture and represent the interactions and relations occurring among multiple entities in a learning environment. The advantage of this representation is that it combines structural in formation with observations in a common graph notation suitable to be used by procedures such as link-prediction, recommendation, and abstractions." Here's the direct linkto the full text. See more from Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Networks, Experience, Online Learning]

Now Hiring: LRMI Project Manager
Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, May 6, 2013

Knewton - who presented in Calgary last week - offers some 'gee whiz' learning analytics. Michael Feldstein describes the company's "pivot" (that's the business meme of the year thus far) as follows: "Up until now, Knewton has been focusing on the big publishers—particularly Pearson, with whom it has a big partnership deal. One reason for that certainly could be that their APIs were not ready for smaller players before now. But I suspect another driver is the huge growth in ed tech startups in general and companies claiming to have some sort of adaptive learning products in particular." They provide a specialized service, but their specialization is beocming commoditized. Now they face the usual fate of software companies who don't adapt.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Online Learning]

Learning scales, teaching doesn't
Vance Stevens, adVancEducation, May 6, 2013

This is not a long post but I want to highlight what is I think a key insight contained within: "regarding the problem with corporate and other institutional training programs.  They are attempts to teach participants in these programs to fish in an era where the tools of fishing are evolving rapidly...  In other words, such training doesn't scale. It becomes less efficient the more rapidly evolutionary change approaches. Training should focus instead on the wider issues of finding a range of tools available to address desired pedagogical tools. The answer is learning, not teaching.  Learning scales. This is what MOOCs are about.  They are experiments for scaling learning."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

The Hijacking of MOOCs
Kevin Bell, Inside Higher Ed, May 6, 2013

Coverage of my post from almost a month ago (!) responding to the rebranding of MOOCs. With Audrey Watters's recent column, I guess it's suddenly relevant again. "The MOOC spirit has been eroded by institutions and individuals who see an easy way to sound (or just seem) tech-online savvy. MOOCs are being used by many institutions to avoid actually having to discuss issues like ownership of curriculum, scalability and strategic online growth."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Branding]

[Expletive Deleted] Ed-Tech #Edinnovation
Audrey Watters, Hack Education, May 5, 2013


Audrey Watters came to Canada to speak at the Ed Tech Innovations conference and with a series of f-bombs attacked the revisionism that is eliminating the Canadian contribution to MOOCs from history. Why does it matter who gets credit? "It’s a carefully constructed narrative — one that invokes certain events from the past and pieces together tidbits from the present, in order to make some folks appear heroic, to frame the world ideologically, and to point to and shape the future." I've posted the audio of her talk here.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Canada]

The MOOC Quality Project
The MOOC Quality Project, May 4, 2013


This is a project that will post a dozen or so weekly commentaries about quality in MOOCs - my own post is due to be posted in a week or two. "Are MOOCs the new model of online education for all? Are they fit to democratize education? and above all – what is a good quality MOOC? The MOOC Quality Project, an initiative of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning (www.efquel.org),  addresses the latter question not by trying to find one answer which fits all, but by trying to stimulate a discourse on the issue of Quality of MOOCs."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, European Union, Quality, Online Learning]

250 000 Euros for the production of 10 MOOCs
MOOC Production Fellowship, May 4, 2013


Interesting site that will fund the production of 10 MOOCs at 25K Euros each. That's not the interesting part of the site; the interesting part is the set of 250+ courses being proposed for development. And also, the bit below talking about the "core" of the MOOC: video, feedback and P2P learning. The site is a bit confusing, though, if you enter via the search engine route, as it's not clear from the presentation that these are courses being proposed and not actually being offered. Ah, if only people knew, and applied, the distinction between "will" and "would".

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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